Governments must now focus on better enforcement of existing laws and regulations rather than seeking to further restrict access to vaping products for adult former smokers
As part of World No Tobacco Day, the Vaping Industry Trade Association (VITA) would like to reiterate that flavored vaping products play a key role in the fight against smoking and help adult smokers quit smoking. Governments should not deprive smokers of one of the most effective ways to quit smoking.
World No Tobacco Day: flavours, an effective alternative for Canadian former smokers
A ban on flavored vaping products will create more problems by encouraging hundreds of thousands of former smokers to return to tobacco cigarettes. Indeed, for lack of an alternative, many of them could return to smoking or will buy supplies on the already growing illicit market. This regrettable situation will also force closure to over one thousand companies in the industry and remove all quality assurance in vape liquids sold across the country.
Let’s be clear: the Vaping Industry Trade Association and its members do not want young people to have access to vaping products at any time. VITA shares and understands the concern of governments and parents to restrict access to youth. It is prohibited by law to sell vaping products to minors.
Currently, there are several regulatory mechanisms that govern the vaping industry. Governments must now focus on stricter enforcement of laws and regulations rather than seeking to further restrict access to vaping products for adult former smokers or current smokers looking for a reduced risk product.
“VITA believes that vaping products are intended for adult smokers who are looking to reduce their harm or want to quit smoking. Under no circumstance should young people and non-smokers consume vaping products. By banning flavors as several governments are considering, thousands of adult former smokers will no longer have access to a product that has worked. Many former smokers are at risk of starting to smoke again while others will get their supplies on the illicit market,” said Daniel David, president of VITA.
In Canada, in addition to considering a ban on flavors in vaping products, proposed in its last budget an excise tax model that should be implemented by October 1st, this follows a restriction on the concentration of nicotine allowed where the limit was lowered to 20 mg per ml, a drop of almost 70%. The industry has been under a constant barrage of regulatory changes with short implementation times leaving not only businesses scrambling to meet compliance but consumers rushing to figure out where to go next.
- According to Health Canada and as stated on its website, “vaping is less harmful than smoking” and “there are general short-term health improvements from switching completely from smoking to vaping”.
- The federal government unfairly fuels the perception that smoking, and vaping are equal. Vaping is an effective harm reduction tool that is less harmful than tobacco and helps former smokers in their transition away from tobacco cigarettes. Consequently, the federal government and the provinces should not consider vaping products in the same way as tobacco.
- New additional and restrictive measures for adult former smokers would lead many Canadian vape product users to find their supplies on the illicit market, a market already growing with products that are unreliable or even dangerous for their health and not subject to taxes and duties.
“In the current context when reviewing the federal law, we again invite Health Canada to worry about the impacts for thousands of Canadian vape product users who are former smokers and those adult smokers looking for reduced risk access. Several of the measures being considered by the federal government on vaping products, could have devastating effects on thousands of Canadian adults in their transition from smoking” added Daniel David.
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